Cummins’ Accelera supplying electrolyzer system for Canadian biofuel plant

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Accelera by Cummins has said that it will supply an electrolyzer system for a biofuel plant in Canada in what the company said will be a “first-of-its-kind” installation and key step in advancing green hydrogen in North America.

Accelera, which is a business segment of Cummins Inc. and headquartered in Columbus, said Monday that it will supply a 90-megawatt proton exchange membrane electrolyzer system for Varennes Carbon Recycling’s biofuel plant near Montreal.

The system includes four of Accelera’s largest electrolyzers, called HyLYZER-5000s, each of which uses 25 megawatts of electricity and can produce up to 10 tons of hydrogen per day, the company said. Accelera described the electrolyzer system as a “first-of-its-kind installation” and the largest electrolyzer system in Canada.

Electrolyzers are devices that separate water into oxygen and hydrogen. When a electrolyzer is operated using renewable energy, the hydrogen it produces is “green” and carbon free. The resulting hydrogen can be store as a compressed gas or liquid and used as a power source.

In this case, the electrolyzers will provide the capacity needed to generate clean, renewable hydrogen and oxygen for the plant’s conversion of waste material to low-carbon-intensity fuels and circular chemicals.

The facility, which will be operated by Varennes Carbon Recycling, is under construction and scheduled to be operational in 2025.

Varennes Carbon Recycling is a consortium between Shell, Suncor and Proman, with the support of the Canadian and Quebec governments. The biorefinery will be powered by a waste-to-methanol technology platform developed by Enerkem.

“Our partnership with VCR illustrates Accelera’s role as a global technology leader and highlights our ability to scale hydrogen production across a variety of industries,” said Accelera President Amy Davis. “This project will be the first installation of Accelera’s HyLYZER-5000, which generates five times more hydrogen than any of our PEM electrolyzer products currently in use and can accommodate the power needs for large-scale hydrogen production. Additionally, this is the first time our electrolyzers will power biofuel and circular chemical production, showcasing our unique capabilities to innovate and meet customer demands while accelerating the shift to net-zero emissions.”

The announcement is among the first since Cummins launched Accelera as its zero-emissions technology brand nearly two weeks ago. The new brand, launched March 8, encompasses what used to be called Cummins’ new power business, which includes the company’s growing electrified power and hydrogen portfolios.

The Columbus-based company also said earlier this month that Accelera and bus manufacturer Blue Bird are aiming to power a new fleet of 1,000 electric school busees in the United States within the next year to 18 months, in what company officials said would prevent 10,600 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.